355 candidates vie for NPP parliamentary primaries tomorrow

 The last leg of the New Patri­otic Party (NPP) parliamentary primaries comes of this Saturday, featuring 355 aspirants who have been cleared to contest in con­stituencies where the party has incumbent Members of Parlia­ment (MPs).

A total of 356 aspirants were initially given the green light, but the incumbent MP for the Akuapem South Constituency, Osei Bonsu Amoah, popularly known as OB Amoah announced his withdrawal this week.

• Mr Stephen Ntim, NPP Chairman
• Mr Stephen Ntim, NPP Chairman

Some 32 aspirants are going unopposed including Lydia Sey­ram Alhassan, MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon and First Deputy Majority Chief Whip; Patrick Yaw Boamah, MP for Okaikoi Central; Samuel Abu Jinapor, MP for Damongo and Minister of Lands and Natural Resources; and Dr Bright Yelviedong Baligi, MP for Lambussie.

Others are Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior and MP for Nandom; Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, MP for Assin South and Deputy Minister of Educa­tion; Dr Festus Awuah Kwofie, MP for Upper Denkyira East.

Last Saturday, some of them including MP for Bosomtwe and Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, were endorsed by their constituencies through popular acclamation.

An earlier statement issued by the Party’s General Secretary, Justin Kodua Frimpong, said 17 aspirants were disqualified by National Executive Council (NEC) based on a reports of the Party’s National Parliamentary Vetting Committees and the National Parliamentary Appeals Committee.

It said two aspirants – Alhassan Mahama and Nana Aduse Poku Ahwene in the Ayawaso Central and Ahafo Ano South West Con­stituencies respectively stepped down from the contest while the fate of Kennedy Kwesi Kankam in the Nhyiaeso Constituency is yet to be determined pending a court case.

The Ashanti Region is likely to be at the centre of attention in the upcoming due to the heated campaign ongoing in the region, featuring 41 constituencies and 126 contestants.

One of such battlegrounds is the Bantama Constituency, where an incumbent MP and Minister of Works and Housing, Asenso Boakye, faces a challenge from Ralph Agyapong.

The latter is the brother of Kennedy Agyapong, who secured the second position in the recent NPP presidential primary that saw Vice President Dr Bawumia emerge as the party’s flagbearer.

In the previous phase of the parliamentary primaries held in December last year, 111 candi­dates in constituencies where the party has no sitting MPs commonly referred to as orphan constituencies were elected.

Together with the winners of the upcoming primaries these candidates would have the task of retaining or increasing the party’s 137 parliamentary seats during the December elections.

Ahead of the crucial election on Saturday, the General Secre­tary of the party, Mr Frimpong, has warned NPP parliamentary aspirants against camping dele­gates.

Addressing journalists in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, he explained that the NPP had come with these measures because it wanted the entire exercise to be free and fair.

“The party has formulated these rules and regulations to ensure free and fair elections and we believe that everyone should be allowed to feel free to walk to the polling centre to cast their vote. It is of this belief that we have made the statement that no one should camp delegates at any place,” he said.

The party’s chief scribe equally warned delegates who would be exercising their franchise in the upcoming internal elections to desist from taking photos and videos of their votes else they would be handed over to the po­lice for prosecution if caught.


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